Tencone: Muscles at risk, Serie A scientific turnover

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Professor Fabrizio Tencone: Director of Isokinetik Turin, Sports Medicine specialist and for years in the past in charge of the Juventus medical sector. Help us understand. A team like the Juventus at best he may have to play around twenty games in less than 80 days. Do these rhythms pose risks to the players from a physical and athletic point of view? “The main risks, of course, are the accidents sports. And specifically muscle injuries. Suffice it to say that, considering a normal season, in the top-5 of football injuries there are four statistically muscular types (front and rear thigh, calf and adductor). And then there is the ankle sprain, which peeps out. Playing at an even tighter pace, in an exceptional end of the season like the one that appears, evidently the incidence of this type of injury can further increase. There is a recent scientific work published by the team of Uefa which shows this clearly: the analysis of about 130 thousand games played by the same players who have taken the field in the last 10 years has shown that when between one game and another three or less than three days of rest occur (for example a match on Sunday and one on Thursday) the risk of muscle injury increases by at least 20 percent. As for other injuries, such as joint injuries, it is all worth seeing. But keep in mind one thing: the incidence, the frequency of injuries is calculated for hours of football played, in training or in the game. It is clear that the more you accumulate hours in a shorter time, the more you expose yourself to risk. This is the technical term: hours of exposure to risk ».

What are the countermeasures and precautions to be taken?
«The first countermeasure is to run the team, to use turnover: to make athletes play with almost normal frequency. Also because if the coach does not make a turnover by choice, he will have to do it because of injuries. Maybe even not serious, for heaven’s sake: fatigue, a cramp, a contracture. But better keep them out first, right? In addition, nutrition and lifestyle will be fundamental. And the prevention to be done at the end of training, during the so-called “cool down”: ice pack, cryotherapy will be decisive. It is part of the recovery strategy. Many already devote a lot of time, out of habit, to this aspect: but now it will serve even more. And then the basics: sleep well, eat and drink well, monitor fatigue ».

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